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    Would a new vision for Garnet Avenue make the corridor more user friendly?
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 20, 2017 | 475 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    An artist’s rendering of what a re-imagined and pedestrian-friendly Garnet Avenue could look like.
    An artist’s rendering of what a re-imagined and pedestrian-friendly Garnet Avenue could look like.
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    To cope with enhanced online competition to brick-and-mortar retail and other challenges, Discover PB is searching for alternatives to making the heart of the beach community's business district on Garnet Avenue more user friendly. Sara Berns, executive director of Discover PB, the business improvement district, noted retail is struggling locally and nationally with online shopping and rising costs on goods, labor and rents. “For various reasons, [success] is harder, particularly here in PB,” Berns said. “People shop for experience over necessity, which is why we are focused on Garnet Avenue Vision, and making Garnet a more complete street with space for events (like the Farmers Market), place-making, public gathering and increasing foot traffic that creates an environment for browsing.” Two ideas previously vetted in PB, a Garnet Vision Plan and a Better Block Concept, are being revived and reconsidered as alternative strategies for luring customers to shop on Garnet. The Better Block project is a demonstration tool that rebuilds an area to show the positive impact of creating a more walkable, vibrant neighborhood center. Berns said the idea would be to take one block, say Garnet between Mission Boulevard and Bayard Street, and implement concepts from the Garnet Vision to improve the shopping experience. In 2011, about the time the ecodistrict was being formed in PB, several public meetings were also held to get community input on how the business district shopping experience might be improved. “Part of that, was looking at opportunities with the new Mid-Coast Trolley Corridor,” said Berns. “We had a bunch of community forums, town halls and charettes to come up with Garnet Vision, concepts and ideas on mobility and connectivity.” Berns said research revealed Mission Boulevard acted like a “moat” dividing beachgoers from the business district. “One of the things we kept coming up with is that people at the beach need places to eat, buy flip-flops or a towel, but there was no direction into the business district,” said Berns. Berns said the issue then became, “How do you funnel people driving to the beach into our side streets and inside our stores to pick up on that foot traffic?" “We looked at Garnet, that already had a very high pedestrian- and bike-riding rate, and what could we do to make it a more complete street, to make sure pedestrians and bike-riders have an equal experience with cars, focusing on mobility and connectivity,” Berns said. “How do we move people west-east and vice versa, to and from the beach. “You do that by adding bike safety infrastructure (markings, separated lanes), making Garnet one-way (street), widening the sidewalks without losing parking and making it more safe for people on the sidewalks,” Berns said. The ultimate goal, added Berns, would be to create a more complete Garnet Avenue that gives an equal experience to cyclists and pedestrians. “If Garnet were one-way, you could have wider sidewalks, clearer crosswalks, (traffic calming) bulb outs at intersections to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street, more green lanes and buffered areas for bikes and reversed diagonal parking (cars backing in improving visibility),” she said. While the way in which people shop is rapidly changing, there's still a place for proven business models, noted Berns, suggesting how brick-and-mortar retail operates needs to be tweaked — not abandoned. “Retail, which is dependent on foot traffic, is tough and hospitality and retail feed off each other,” she said. “But you don't go to Garnet because you need to buy a suit. You go to Garnet because you want to experience a day out shopping.” Berns said the objective would be to readjust the shopping experience to be had on Garnet Avenue. “We want to create an experience where people who want to go out and have lunch, can then walk around and window shop and wander into stores,” she said. “People want activity. They want events to bring them out to shop.”
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    Community celebrates Maruta Gardner Day, mural unveiled at MBHS
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 19, 2017 | 1803 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Maruta's husband Willie receives a proclamation honoring his late wife from Dawn Reilly of Beautiful MB. / PHOTO BY DAVE SCHWAB
    Maruta's husband Willie receives a proclamation honoring his late wife from Dawn Reilly of Beautiful MB. / PHOTO BY DAVE SCHWAB
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    Maruta Gardner, killed by an intoxicated driver while painting out graffiti in Mission Beach two years ago, was honored for her volunteerism on Nov. 3 with a day named in her honor, which included several “Day of Service” events. Organizations and neighbors in Mission and Pacific beaches came together to memorialize Gardner, as well as dedicate a mural designed by Israel (Ezra) Cervantes, painted by him along with the aid of the Mission Bay High Mural Club. Participating community organizations included the Mission and Pacific Beach town councils, OMBAC, Mission Beach Women's Club, BeautifulPB, BeautifulMB, PB Street Guardians, PB Library, Friends of PB Library, Mission Bay High, Olive Cafe & Bakery and ANOC World Beach Games 2019.  There were refreshments for guests, and brief presentations by organizers, before the formal unveiling of the Maruta mural on a building wall around the corner from the MBHS gym. “Such a beautiful mural is going to open up a conversation for future generations,” noted Dawn Reilly of Beautiful MB Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to Mission Beach's improvement and enhancement. “It's about how one person can make a difference, that what you do matters.” It was Reilly who first suggested a service day would be an appropriate tribute for a community hero and volunteer. “Along the way, we heard wonderful stories about Maruta Gardner,” Reilly said. “It's just lovely to see how one person, who was so dedicated, could cause so many ripples, and those ripples became ripples of their own. It's just lovely to see that community can be built around that.” A tearful Sarah Mattinson from Olive Cafe, which catered the special recognition, talked about Gardner's legacy characterizing being under her spell as being “Marutaized.”  “It may not be in the dictionary, but people who knew her (Gardner) know exactly what it (Marutaized) means,” Mattinson said. “She had a way of getting you excited about any kind of project, especially community service projects. Maruta wouldn't let anyone sit on the sidelines. Before you knew it, you found yourself chairing an event, wondering, how did that happen?” Community service projects done on Gardner's memorial day included a cleanup around the Rose Creek and Crown Point Preserve areas, weeding and cleanup along the sidewalks, streets, and alleys in the business districts around Pacific and Mission beaches, utility box painting and sealing along Mission Boulevard, anti-graffiti cleaning around the community (something very important to Gardner), and conversation and companionship at a local senior center. Jonathan Domingo Garcia, 26, the drunken/drugged driver who killed activist Gardner in Mission Beach after she painted over graffiti, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in front of a packed courtroom. In handing down the sentence, San Diego Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis turned down his attorney’s request for probation. Judge Lewis said she believed Garcia was “a danger to others,” and mentioned his first hit-and-run accident that occurred some three weeks before he killed Gardner. “You had a wake up call that you didn’t answer,” said Lewis. “I don’t doubt you have remorse now.” Gardner, a retired teacher and former principal at Mission Bay High School, was struck at 5:45 p.m. by Garcia, who drove away without stopping. Garcia pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and admitted leaving the scene of an accident. Lynette Blakney, a 35-year Gardner friend, told Garcia when he was sentenced to learn from his mistakes and “make your life a memorial” to Gardner. Lewis ordered Garcia to pay $1,349 in restitution and fined him $3,524. She gave him credit for serving 400 days in jail. 
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    Plenty of pink will walk through Pacific and Mission beaches during Susan G. Komen’s 3-Day event
    Nov 14, 2017 | 40476 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    On Friday, Nov. 17, the San Diego 3-Day will begin with an inspirational opening ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The route will continue south through La Jolla and Pacific Beach, finishing in Mission Bay Park where participants will camp. Above, participants walk by pink tents set up at Crown Point Park last year. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    On Friday, Nov. 17, the San Diego 3-Day will begin with an inspirational opening ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The route will continue south through La Jolla and Pacific Beach, finishing in Mission Bay Park where participants will camp. Above, participants walk by pink tents set up at Crown Point Park last year. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Pacific and Mission beaches will be well represented, as well as being part of the route, in the annual Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk to be held Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday Nov. 19. The 3-Day is a 60-mile walk for women and men who are ready to end breast cancer forever. Participants raise a minimum of $2,300 and walk an average of 20 miles a day for three consecutive days, educating tens of thousands of people about breast health and raising funds to help support breast cancer research and community outreach programs.  During the past 14 years and 156 events, the Komen 3-Day has raised more than $820 million, which Komen has used to save lives and make huge strides in breast cancer research. In 2016, Susan G. Komen set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. The Walk/Run Route Schedule: Friday, Nov. 17:  The San Diego 3-Day will begin with an inspirational opening ceremony at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. After lunch on the beach, the route will continue south through La Jolla and Pacific Beach, finishing in Mission Bay Park where participants will camp. Saturday, Nov. 18:  On Saturday morning, participants will walk by SeaWorld before heading toward the ocean. The route will showcase Ocean Beach, Point Loma and the beautiful homes along the ocean in Sunset Cliffs. The second half of the route will travel along the ocean boardwalk in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach before heading east. Sunday, Nov. 19:  The final day begins with a tour through Pacific Beach heading to the pedestrian path on the east side of Mission Bay Park. After lunch in Mission Hills, the route will tour Hillcrest, Balboa Park, and Downtown. The route will end in East Village with a celebratory closing ceremony at Petco Park. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds raised from the 3-Day help Susan G. Komen support the global research program and other mission objectives, while the remaining 25 percent helps affiliates support local programs including medical assistance, patient navigation and provider education — all of which support Komen’s Bold Goal. Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer unsuccessfully with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and long hospitalization, Komen spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and commitment to making a difference, her sister, Nancy G. Brinker, promised Komen that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer and help women who were suffering. The legacy lives on through the work of Susan G. Komen, the nonprofit Texas-based organization and public charity Nancy started. Susan G. Komen is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1 billion in breast cancer research since its inception in 1982.  For more information, visit The3Day.org or call 800-996-3DAY. Connect on Facebook at Facebook.com/The3Day, Twitter @The3Day and Instagram @Komen3Day. 
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    Top 10 Instagram-worthy places in Pacific and Mission beaches
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Nov 14, 2017 | 2434 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pacific Beach-based model Paige Fulfer poses for a photo in front of the mermaid mural on Mission Boulevard. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Pacific Beach-based model Paige Fulfer poses for a photo in front of the mermaid mural on Mission Boulevard. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Paige Fulfer takes a selfie at the former bait shack on the South Mission Beach jetty. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Paige Fulfer takes a selfie at the former bait shack on the South Mission Beach jetty. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Lifeguard towers in Mission Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Lifeguard towers in Mission Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The shark mural near the Beach Bungalow Hostel in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The shark mural near the Beach Bungalow Hostel in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Under the Crystal Pier at sunset. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Under the Crystal Pier at sunset. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The Giant Dipper roller coaster at Belmont Park. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The Giant Dipper roller coaster at Belmont Park. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Veronica Parker poses with the angel wings in Pacific Beach.
    Veronica Parker poses with the angel wings in Pacific Beach.
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    Scenic view of Pacific and Mission beaches from La Jolla Mesa Drive. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Scenic view of Pacific and Mission beaches from La Jolla Mesa Drive. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Surfers at Tourmaline Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Surfers at Tourmaline Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are filled with colorful murals, scenic streets, pretty parks and a historic pier that all make perfect photo locations for a top-notch Instagram gallery. Here are the top 10 most Instagram-worthy places that you can’t miss while you are visiting Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Mermaid mural One of the most popular places in Pacific Beach for Instagram photos is the bright mermaid mural on Mission Boulevard just north of Dirty Birds. The beautiful mural was painted by Jared Blake Lazer (aka Jared Black Lazer), who is a Southern California-based visual artist, muralist and graphic designer. Lazer painted the mural in 2015 for the shop Daffodil Dresses, which was located there at that time. You can’t say that you have been in Pacific Beach without posting a photo of yourself in front of the mural. Bait shack The former bait shack about halfway out on the South Mission Beach jetty is like a doorway to the Pacific Ocean. The exterior has been painted over various times with colorful graffiti, which makes it an interesting backdrop for a cool photo. But be careful walking out on the slick jetty rocks; the shack is not as close as it seems. Lifeguard towers Another popular prop for a good photo are the lifeguard towers along Pacific Mission beaches. The white and yellow towers, combined with the blue sky and the light sand, make a perfect California beach photo. There are more than 20 towers all the way from South Mission Beach to Pacific Beach, so there is no excuse for not posting a photo. Beach Bungalow Hostel At the end of Reed Avenue, just by the beach, is the yellow, blue, orange, green and turquoise Beach Bungalow Hostel. The hostel is filled with murals, patterns and more colors. Next to the hostel, on the boardwalk, is an ice cream shop that has a mural of a big shark on its north side, which is another popular Instagram spot. The hostel has a very authentic and memorable vibe that gives you the perfect California feels. Beach sunsets There are plenty of places deemed Instagram-worthy to watch the sunset in San Diego, and Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are no exception. Just pick a spot along the Ocean Front Walk to get a stunning view of the latest Southern California miracle. Crystal Pier Another popular location for photos is underneath the 90-year-old Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach (on the pier works as well). The wooden pillars, together with the foaming waves and the bright sand, makes it a fun location for a group photo. Belmont Park The old wooden roller coaster at Belmont Park with the white, red and turquoise colors, the palm trees in the background, with the beach right next to it, screams for an Instagram shot. The historic amusement ride in Mission Beach, named the Giant Dipper, was built in 1925. Wings at Cass Street Pacific Beach has been described as heavenly and it does have a pair of white angel wings to show for it. The mural, originally painted for a photo shoot, is located on a wall on the west side of Cass Street near the PB library. Having a photo taken “wearing” the angel wings is a rite of passage for visitors and residents. La Jolla Mesa Drive Head north on Mission Boulevard and then take La Jolla Mesa Drive toward Mt. Soledad. The road gets steep, but on the way up make sure to look in your rearview mirror as the Pacific Beach coastline starts to come into view. Pull over and take a selfie – on a clear day you can see all the way to the Ocean Beach Pier. Tourmaline Street What is more Instagram-worthy than a street filled with palm trees on both sides and the ocean in the background? The street severely slopes down to the beach, so stand at the top for a selfie and feed your Instagram account some “California Love.” As an added bonus, find a spot in the parking lot at the bottom of the street, check out the mural on the side of the bathhouse, and then watch the surfers in action.
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    Man turns stolen bamboo bicycle into Bikes for Kids campaign
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Nov 13, 2017 | 3572 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Rob Greenfield on his bamboo bike.
    Rob Greenfield on his bamboo bike.
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    Rob Greenfield with Guitar Johnny, who stole the bamboo bike.
    Rob Greenfield with Guitar Johnny, who stole the bamboo bike.
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    On Friday, Nov. 3, former San Diego resident Rob Greenfield had his beloved bamboo bike, which he had ridden across the country, stolen in front of the Catamaran Hotel in Mission Bay. But instead of letting the loss of his bike ruin his day, he decided to turn the situation into something positive. Greenfield wanted to turn his own misfortune into someone else’s fortune, so he started the GoFundMe.com campaign “Bikes for Kids” to raise money for kids who have had their bikes stolen. “I am in a situation where I can go and buy a new bike, but there are a lot of kids out there who live in low-income scenarios and if they get their bike stolen they can't get another one,” said Greenfield. Greenfield shared a video on Facebook of himself, asking people to help him turn the bad deed of his bike being stolen, into dozens of good deeds. He started raising money to buy bikes for kids. “I am a strong believer in the idea that hate cannot drive out hate and darkness cannot drive out darkness. Bad deeds cannot drive out bad deeds. Only good deeds can do that,” said Greenfield. Through “Bikes for Kids,” Greenfield already raised enough money to buy bikes for 10 kids. He also managed to find his bike’s thief, and get his bamboo bike back. Greenfield’s bike was stolen by a man named Guitar Johnny, who stole it to get his next fix. Greenfield decided not to report him to the police, but instead they made a deal that Guitar Johnny is going to do something good for humanity, and the former bike thief committed to helping to fix bikes for people in need to make up for his bad deed. “I don’t think that him going to jail is going to solve the problem. There are more people in jail in the United States than any other country in the world, and I think that we have seen that putting people in jail and punishing them that way doesn’t work. I think we need compassion,” said Greenfield. You can still donate to “Bikes for Kids” and all extra funds will be used to do good deeds for the rest of 2017 and to buy bikes for people who've had their bike stolen. For more information,, visit www.gofundme.com/bamboobike.
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    News
    Shooting victim sues La Jolla Crossroads
    The April 30 mass shooting at the La Jolla Crossroads apartment complex, carried out by 49-year-old Peter Selis, left 35-year-old mother of three, Monique Clark, dead and wounded several others bef...
    Published - Friday, November 03
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    Pious Projects of America launching a national Feed the Hungry campaign
    On Saturday, Oct. 28, Pious Projects of America launched a national campaign to feed the hungry, consisting of 1,000 volunteers across the country. More than 20 cities will be participating in maki...
    Published - Friday, November 03
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    A Dane now living in San Diego, part 14
    Last weekend I experienced my first Halloween ever and I really loved it. As I told you in one of my previous columns, we don’t really celebrate Halloween in Denmark, and if some Danes do, it is of...
    Published - Thursday, November 02
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    $10,000 donation made to Rady Children’s in Ed Sheeran’s name
    In the name of worldwide Grammy-winning pop sensation Ed Sheeran, Valley View Casino Center announced Nov. 2 a $10,000 donation to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.  In August, Ed Sheeran played ...
    Published - Thursday, November 02
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    Pacific Beach Town Council hears about solutions from city’s new homeless ‘czar’
    Gordon Walker, one of San Diego's new homeless “czars” crafting policies toward the downtrodden, was on the receiving end of some community angst surrounding the complex social issue during an Oct....
    Published - Thursday, November 02
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    Education Notebook: Enrollment through the School Choice Program closes Nov. 13
    Mission Bay Cluster - Do you have friends or family living outside of the Mission Bay Cluster that would like to attend one of Pacific Beach's exceptional schools during the 2018-2019 school year? ...
    Published - Wednesday, November 01
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    Church leaders, neighbors discuss free meals for homeless in Pacific Beach
    The first meeting between church leaders and concerned neighbors over problems surrounding churches feeding the homeless in Pacific Beach was described by both parties as encouraging. “We were tryi...
    Published - Wednesday, November 01
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    Bike Coalition to give out free bike lights
    As Daylight Saving time ending brings shorter days, the San Diego County Bike Coalition invites all bike commuters to receive free front and rear bike lights 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3 at the San D...
    Published - Wednesday, November 01
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    Del Mar gears up for Bing Crosby Season
    ‘Bing Crosby Season’ returns from Nov. 1 – 26 and, for the first time ever, the Breeders’ Cup will run “where the turf meets the surf” on Nov. 3 and 4. With Del Mar closing out a stellar 78th summe...
    Published - Tuesday, October 31
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    Woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in Pacific Beach death
    A woman pleaded guilty Friday to voluntary manslaughter in the beating death of an acquaintance in a Pacific Beach motel. A murder charge was dismissed against Samantha Grace Passmore, 24, after sh...
    Published - Monday, October 30
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    Matt Stairs named Padres’ hitting coach
    The San Diego Padres have hired Matt Stairs as their Major League hitting coach, executive vice president and general manager A.J. Preller announced Oct. 30. “Matt possesses a true understanding of...
    Published - Monday, October 30
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    With Point Loman at helm, ‘Urban Campers’ raise record funds for Girl Scouts
    Under the leadership of Point Loma resident Liza Crisafi, Girl Scouts San Diego’s “Urban Campout: Celebrate 100 Years” garnered a record $610,000 in donations. In addition to chairing the 20th annu...
    Published - Sunday, October 29
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    A Dane now living in San Diego part 13
    Every day that goes cause me to just love San Diego more and more, and a part of me never wants to go back to Denmark. But even though San Diego is so much more exciting, exotic and beautiful than ...
    Published - Sunday, October 29
    full story
    ‘California Screamin’ sheds some darkness on palm trees and sunshine
    The reality of nightmares is not only alive and well in Pacific Beach, it’s perfectly prepared for Halloween! Just ask resident horror fiction writer Brian Asman, a skilled artist who delights in g...
    Published - Sunday, October 29
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